PAL, Cebu Pacific ready to repatriate Mideast OFWs for free

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2020 02:59 PM | Updated as of Jan 10 2020 04:06 PM

People pass in front of a mural depicting Overseas Filipino Workers painted on the walls of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration on January 3, 2020. Jontahan Cellona, ABS-CBN New


MANILA -- (UPDATE) Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific said Friday they were prepared to fly home for free, Filipino workers in the Middle East should fresh tensions there force their repatriation.

The flag carrier said the free seats would be given to Filipinos based in Iraq and Iran who are "certified for repatriation." The airline's PAL President and COO Gilbert Santa Maria confirmed an earlier statement Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General Jim Sydiongco.

Cebu Pacific spokeswoman Charo Logarta Lagamon confirmed the airline's availability to provide free flights but could not immediately provide additional details.

Philippine Airlines operates flights to Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait and Riyadh while Cebu Pacific flies to Dubai.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the mandatory evacuation of workers in Iraq and Iran following attacks aimed at 2 US bases in Baghdad. 

The repatriation plans are currently being "mapped-out" by concerned agencies to secure safety of Filipinos in the Middle East, the CAAP said.